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Thoughts about rape [Jan. 19th, 2007|10:21 am]
I'm putting this behind a cut tag, but I think it's relatively safe and non-triggering.

Yesterday, I saw a horribly scary thing said about rape. It was here. It suggested that we could use bullying as a metaphor for rape. People understand bullying more than they do rape, after all.

What's horrifying and scary about this? It fits. It fits so incredibly fucking *perfectly* that I feel like, have I and the rest of the world been blind?

Are there studies looking into the linkage?

I mean, aren't most rapes easily defined as sexual bullying? And isn't bullying fun for some people? And isn't it too goddamned accepted in our society?

And it makes me wonder if the angst over "you're making it sound like a guy who just wants to get laid, and is being a bit aggressive in his approach, is a rapist!" can be boiled down to "but if you aren't (willing to be) a bully, you'll stop far short of rape."

I mean... gods. Look, I grew up getting busted on a lot, but I learned to give and take; I learned that sometimes, folks like to cut up each other, but it's all in fun. And it's a common enough activity that people have learned when they've accidentally crossed the line, and back off (and often, in private, apologize - they don't feel comfortable doing it right away, because it would spoil the game). But everyone (I hope) understands that there's some folks who look for the nasty insult, the folks who *want* to draw blood, and don't like those people, and recognize them as bullies.

So it's not like people don't often have risky interpersonal activities where they have to be sensitive to the reactions they've caused. And it's not like it's *hard* to avoid hurting someone with your sexual overtures.

I think that difference - the rapist wasn't just making a move, he was being a bully - is one that's accessible and maybe really, really strong.

[User Picture]From: ruth_lawrence
2007-01-19 10:56 pm (UTC)
I always thought I'd been bullied when sexually assaulted, somehow.

Of course it fits.

And I do know how it differs from BDSM (theatre, consent, negotiation etc etc).
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